Howard Hughes Medical Institute has announced a policy to
promote open-access publication of scientific papers. They
are not only supporting it philosophically, but financially as well.
In fact, they are not only supporting it, but requiring
it for their researchers:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has expressed support for
Springer’s Open Choice program whereby articles are — if
accepted for publication after a process of rigorous peer-review
— immediately published with full open access and deposited
in repositories such as PubMed Central, at a flat-rate fee per article
of $3,000. Springer’s Open Choice programme applies to all its journals.
HHMI has a strong commitment to
ensuring public access to original research articles. Beginning with
papers submitted for publication after January 1, 2008, HHMI will
require its scientists to publish their original research articles in
journals that allow the articles and supplementary materials to be made
freely accessible in a public repository within six months of
HHMI is the largest private funder
of biomedical research in the U.S. and commits more than $500 million a
year for research and distributes $80 million in grant support for
HHMI investigators already publish
a significant number of research articles in open access journals or in
journals with open access options. Under the new policy, HHMI will pay
up to $2,000 in open access charges per article with the balance coming
from laboratory budgets or other sources.
HHMI clearly is serious about this. It makes the schlemiels
look like idiots…droning on about how open-access publication is a
threat to peer review, will increase government spending, etc.
Here we have one of the largest and most prestigious research
institutes in the world, saying open-access publishing is a good idea,
and backing up their words with cash…private
funding, in fact.